How to get from Phong Nha to Hanoi?
The easiest option when travelling the 500km distance from Phong Nha to Hanoi is by bus. This overnight bus journey takes 8.5 hours and costs $14. Other options include taking the train (11.5 hours) or a flight (6 hours).
We recommend taking the night bus from Phong Nha to Hanoi. This is the most convenient option and saves you a day of travelling.
Bus, Train or Flight?
|Bus||8.5 hours||300,000 VND ($13)||Check bus tickets|
|Train||11.5 hours||845,000 VND ($36.50)||Check train tickets|
|Flight||6 hours||950,000 VND ($41.50)||Check flights|
Taking the night train is another good option, but requires an extra bus or taxi ride from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi railway station. This means you will have to add another 1.5 hour travel time to the 10-hour train ride from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha. The advantage of the night train is that they offer decent beds to get a good night of sleep.
Third, you can also take a flight but we don’t recommend this option since you will lose the largest part of your day on travelling. When travelling by flight, you also have to take a taxi or bus from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport and another one from Hanoi airport to Hanoi center.
Itinerary from Phong Nha to Hanoi
- Phong Nha
- 8.5 hours
- Hoi An
- 1-1.5 hours
- Dong Hoi Railway Station
- 10 hours
- Phong Nha
- 1 hour
- Dong Hoi Airport
- 1 hour
- Hanoi Airport
- 1h 15min
- Hanoi City Center
Phong Nha to Hanoi by Bus
Duration: 9 hours
Cost: 320,000 VND ($14)
There are several night buses from Hoi An to Hanoi that make a short stop to pick up passengers in Phong Nha.
See here the schedule of the companies operating on this route:
|Queen Café||21:30-06:00||8h 30m||300,000 VND ($13)|
|Hung Thanh||21:00-06:00||9h||300,000 VND ($13)|
|Camel Travel||21:00-06:00||9h||320,000 VND ($14)|
|Hey Travel||21:00-07:00||10h||295,000 VND ($12.5)|
If you want to book with Hey Travel and Camel Travel, you can book online via BookAway.
We prefer Queen Cafe as they drop you closest to the center of Hanoi. The other options may require an additional taxi ride to reach your accommodation. You can see their pick-up and drop-off points below.
- Departs from Central Backpackers Hostel in Phong Nha city center
- Arrives at 208 Tran Quang Khai near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi city center
- Departs from Easy Tiger Hostel in Phong Nha city center
- Arrives at 1 Tran Khanh Du, south of Hanoi city center
- Departs from Nam Anh Hotel in Phong Nha city center
- Arrives at 282 Tran Khat Chan, south of city center
- Departs from Phong Nha Backpacker Hostel in Phong Nha city center
- Arrives at 459 Tran Khat Chan, south of city center
Phong Nha to Hanoi by Train
Duration: 11 hours
Cost: 595,000 VND ($26)
When you decide to travel by train, you first have to get to Dong Hoi railway station. The station is about 40km south of Phong Nha and takes 1.5 hours by bus or taxi from Phong Nha.
We recommend to take a night train on this route, so you don’t lose a day for the 10-hour train journey. Thanks to the comfortable beds on the night train, you can get a good night of sleep and even save a night on accommodation!
Step 1: Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Railway Station by Bus
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Cost: 60,000 VND ($2.60)
From Phong Nha you can take the local bus to Dong Hoi bus station for just 35,000 VND ($1.50).
From the bus station, you can take a taxi for 25,000 VND ($1.10) to Dong Hoi railway station. Buses from Phong Nha start operating from 5:30 and the last bus leaves at 17:00. You can find more information about the bus schedules on the page of Dong Hoi.
Alternatively, you can arrange a taxi in Phong Nha for about 500,000 VND ($22).
Step 2: Dong Hoi to Hanoi by Train
Duration: 10 hours
Cost: 535,000 VND ($23)
We recommend taking either SE2 or SE4 since they have more convenient arrival times than the SE10. Double-check the current schedule with your hotel to make sure you don’t miss the latest bus from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi.
When taking one of the latest buses, you will still have some time to get dinner and buy some snacks or drinks for the train ride. Before you go to sleep, you will also have plenty of time to go through your pictures, update your travel diary or watch a movie on your tablet. And when you wake up the next morning, the sunrise in Hanoi will be waiting for you!
|SE10||16:14-03:08||10h 54m||580,000 VND ($25)|
|SE4||18:35-04:48||10h 13m||535,000 VND ($23)|
|SE2||19:39-05:30||9h 51m||550,000 VND ($24)|
Prices indicated are for 6-person cabins. Choosing a seat doesn’t make much sense and in that case, you are better off taking a bus.
Phong Nha to Hanoi by Flight
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: 950,000 VND ($41.50)
The third option you have is to fly from Dong Hoi airport to Hanoi. The disadvantage of this option is that you first have to take a bus or taxi from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport and from Hanoi Airport to the city center.
When you include some extra time at the airport, this counts up to more than 6 hours in total. This way you almost lose a complete day on travelling by plane. That’s why we prefer to travel this distance by train or bus during the night.
When travelling by air the schedule will look as follows:
|Method of transport||Duration||Cost|
|Taxi from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport||1h||400,000 – 500,000 VND|
($17.50 – $22)
|Flight from Dong Hoi Airport – Hanoi Airport (Bamboo Airways)||1h||510,000 VND ($22)|
|Shuttle bus from Hanoi Airport to Hanoi center||1h 15m||40,000 VND ($1.80)|
You can check the flights operating on this route by clicking the button above.
Where to travel next?
Hanoi to Sapa: 6-9 hours
Explore the rice fields in Sapa
Hanoi to CatBa: 3.5-4 hours
Enjoy the stunning views of the karst mountains
Hanoi to Ninh Binh: 2-3 hours
Paddle through the Tam Coc or Trang An river while passing karst mountains and rice fields
Hanoi to Hoi An: 3-17 hours
Enjoy the great atmosphere of Hoi An with a mixture of Japanese, Vietnamese and French influences
My favourite places to stay in Hanoi
Looking for a room in the middle of the Old Quarter? Ancient Lane Hotel offers very clean rooms nicely decorated with ancient attributes. The hosts Thuy and Tuan will make sure you'll have a great stay!
Double room from: $28
Just landed in Hanoi? In this hotel, you will get the best night of sleep you had since ages. The friendly staff will give you a warm welcome and serve a wonderful breakfast buffet the next morning! Located in the middle of the center, but completely isolated from all the noise.
Double rooms with city view from: $42
Visiting Halong Bay
For many travellers, Halong Bay is one of the highlights of Vietnam. The stunning landscape and breathtaking views over the limestone rocks look almost unreal!
To experience Halong Bay in the best way, you can book a boat cruise departing from Hanoi. Organized tours departing from Hanoi are often cheaper than tours sold by agencies in Halong Bay and another advantage is that you don't need to organize your transport to get there.
We recommend to book your boat tour online to get the best prices and be certain that you book with a trusted company. I already spoke to many travellers who booked boat trips from a random agency on the street and were very disappointed by the service and conditions of this boat.
See here our recommendtion of well-rated boat cruises
*Both tours include free pick-up and drop-off in Hanoi.
Want to have a broader choice of tours? Check out Halongbaytours for more boat cruises around Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay (Cat Ba).
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